British environmental artist Chris Drury´s art installation Carbon Sink: What Goes Around Comes Around created back in July 2011 on the Wyoming university campus, was originally intended to inspire a conversation about a prevalent environmental problem in the region. Global warming has, so scientists say, led to less pine beetles dying off by below zero temperature and thus more forest infested by the tree-killing beetles.
The sculpture features a 36-foot-wide circle of logs from beetle-killed trees, arranged in a circular pattern around a pile of coal and thus it points at the link between human induced climate change and dead forests. A big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions however is the burning of coal.
Plausible topic for an art installation, but in a state where the fossil fuel industry is a major economic driver as well as a known financial supporter of the University of Wyoming, some toes were bound to be stepped on.
Still, surprisingly the quiet removal of the installation after less than a year by university presidentTom Buchanan (it was supposed to stay till it decomposed) was confirmed to be the result of pressure by energy officials and their political allies. This stark display of interference by corporate sponsorship in the curatorial decision-making is just a more public and recent one of many and gives a gloomy outlook on the future of censorship in art institutions.
Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.
Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.
The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:
– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)
Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21
Textile artist Cybele Moon: "I wanted to share my love of color with others."
Artist Cybele Moon partnered with The Trailer Trash Project to offer her Earth Day art installation to the community of Santa Clarita, CA.
Cybele models clothes fashioned from pre-owned T-shirts
Some artists choose paint as their medium. Others choose stone or metal. Cybele Moon chose fabric–or perhaps it chose her.
“My mother used to weave and make her own clothes. One of my grandmothers worked in a bobbin factory, and she sewed at home. My other grandmother would crochet and do cross-stitch,” explained the Cal Arts grad student who was a professional costume designer before deciding to go back to school to get an MFA.
Textiles are intertwined with her family tree. “Even my grandfather had a connection to fabric. He came to this country at the turn of the century from Slovakia. He made looms and wove rag rugs in the 1930’s and ‘40’s.”
Cybele spends most of her time at Cal Arts working behind the scenes, designing costumes for dance and theatrical productions. Before graduating she wanted to create some of her own textile art and share it with the Santa Clarita community on Earth Day.
Sam Breen's 1951 Spartan trailer provided a backdrop for Cybele's installation.
The result: a textile installation resembling dripping vines, dyed in the soft blue and green colors of spring. The work was fashioned from recycled T-shirts donated by CalArts students, faculty and staff.
“Fabric is my medium. I can dye it, paint it and manipulate it,” she said. She is particularly fond of the challenges presented by recycled fabrics. “I can take a piece of clothing, cut open the seams and make something else.”
Cybele’s Earth Day offering demonstrates her dual passion for ecology and art. “We waste and throw away so many things. I wanted to show that you can take a common T-shirt and transform it into something completely different – like a piece of art.”
Drawing on her skills as a costume designer Cybele, along with Jessica Ramsey and Emily Moran, two Cal Arts BFA students in costume design, conducted a workshop for kids demonstrating how to transform used T-shirts into trendy scarves, vests, tank tops and other items of clothing.
With graduation coming up, Cybele’s thoughts have turned to the future. Her dream? To live some place where she can have a huge garden and chickens. Her career goal is to be costume design professor and to continue working professionally as a costume designer. She will also continue to explore her own textile art.
Cal Arts students Cybele Moon (r) and Jessica Ramsey (l) conducted a workshop for kids to show how to turn a used T-shirt into something unexpected.
The experience on Earth Day in Santa Clarita has inspired her to try to take on more collaborative community projects in the future, especially those geared for children.
Her off-campus art project comes at a time when she and other Cal Arts students are working at a hectic pace, trying to finish up the school year.
Emily Moran (l) helps a youngster work magic with recycled clothing.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into or how it would turn out,” she explained on evening before the event, her hands covered with thick rubber gloves while she prepped another batch of T-shirts for dying. “It was a challenge to see if I could do it, to get all those people to donate T-shirts. But I just kept on trying.”
Sam’s vintage trailer provided a framework for Cybele’s piece, giving the trailer’s metal exterior a soft, whimsical look. It could be the beginning of a colorful, art-inspired and Earth-friendly spring.
For more on Cybele Moon, click herefor her web site.
This November 20-28, 350 EARTH will launch the world’s first ever global climate art project. In over a dozen places across the globe, citizens and artists will create massive public art installations to show how climate change is already impacting our world as well as offer visions of how we can solve the crisis. Each art installation will be large enough to be seen from space and documented by satellites generously provided by DigitalGlobe.
350 EARTH will be the first-ever global scale group show on the front line of climate change—our polluted cities, endangered forests, melting glaciers, and sinking coastlines. People around the world are invited to take part by attending signature events, submitting their own art, and spreading the word about the project.
350 EARTH will take place on the eve of the next United Nations climate meetings in Cancun, Mexico where delegates will work to create an international climate treaty. Our politicians have all the facts, figures, and graphs they need to solve the climate crisis. What they lack is the will. 350 EARTH will demonstrate the massive public support for bold climate action and the role that art can play in inspiring humanity to take on our greatest challenge: protecting the planet on which we live.
Picking up a story about Executive Director Ian Garrett’s Practice outside of the CSPA from the CalArts Blog’s Christine Ziemba….
Anyone who attended the Coachella or Stagecoach festivals in recent weeks in Indio, Calif., couldn’t miss the giant origami crane towering over the festival grounds. The art installation, Ascension, was crafted by the Crimson Collective, an LA-based consortium of artists, architects and designers. Based on Japanese legend, Ascension stood as a symbol of peace and prosperity.
The Collective’s Nick Vida tapped artist and CalArts alumnus Ian Garrett(Theater MFA 08) to design the lighting for the project in an environmentally sustainable manner. In other words, the lights were programmed and run by solar power: “We had to collect enough light to charge the batteries and power the lights at night,” said Garrett. He used multicolored LED lights to change the crane’s colors continually each evening, providing concertgoers dramatic visuals to go along with the music from the festivals’ stages.
Standing at more than 45 feet and with a wingspan of more than 150 feet, the fabric and truss installation gave concertgoers shelter from the desert sun by day, too. Here’s a description from The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasyblog:
Defined by the collective as a living art installation, the giant white crane was crafted from white fabric, modular aluminum and tension wire, all of which combine and provide vast expanses of shade. While simultaneously blocking the sun, two solar energy collectors will charge via the sun’s rays to provide colored ambient lighting once the sun goes down. Underneath each of the solar panels is a bench and rest area, offering extra space for respite.
Since the crane is a fully sustainable and reusable project, the Crimson Collective is planning to take the crane around the world. For those interested in learning more about the crane project, the Collective’s Nick Vida and Brent Heyning will be on campus next week (May 7 at noon) to discuss the crane project and installation as part of CalArts Sustainability Speaker Series.
Garrett was at Stagecoach this weekend to help take down Ascension. He provided us a few early renderings of the crane, as well as photos from the festival grounds in the photo gallery posted above.
The Armory Center for the Arts is seeking proposals from Southern Californian artists and architects for a temporary site-specific Land/Environmental art installation or structure in a vacant lot in Northwest Pasadena.
Proposals are due via email by May 15th. Winner will be notified by May 31st. Winning project will be installed in June and run from July – December, 2010.
A $1,000 honorarium will be provided to the selected artist/architect to cover expenses related to the creation of the work.
Download complete details and application requirements at:
We’re at that point now. We can talk about growing music. Artist David Benqué’s piece Acoustic Botany is a series of models and diagrams for a genetically engineered music and sound garden. It envisions insects created to chew in rhythm, flower pods designed to explode at certain intervals, and Lily Pads that amplify the death throes of bugs in a vascular speaker structure.
I gotta say this makes me just the slightest bit nauseous, and not for the obvious old-lady-with-a-clipboard reasons (nature is nature! etc). It’s because of the roles and responsibilities of the artist inherent in the work. Here I was all excited about environmental art because it’s such a great example of the logistical application of the aesthetic, of an artist’s capacity to engage and care, a unity of practical and aesthetic reason. Now, again, sing the the memes of art trumping reason, or at least twisting it severely to achieve its goals.
A genetically modified art installation, with no comment to make on genetic modification itself, no analysis really of the human/nature relationship, really just an artistic exploration of the fun and pretty things we could do with plants if given the opportunity to play with their DNA. And I bet it would be stunning.Bugs designed to chew in rhythm! What kind of glorious aesthetic high would visitors to this installation get? Awe and wonder of science, with a little bit of nature, maybe.
Benqué’s vision is far from being realized, but it’s ready to start some serious conversations now.
The Big Rabbits are made from recycled plastic bottles. After the installation is finished, the prolific and cutting-edge art studio destroys the installation and recycles it into a new animal and another project.
The Big Rabbits recycled art Installation from Cracking Art Group in Italy has been turning heads across Europe. The recycled orange rabbits have been on display in Portofino, Milan, Prague, Paris, Brussels and San Remo.
“The rabbit is the symbol of reproduction and proliferation. A positive message in this time of confusion,” explains Renzo Nucara from the Cracking Art Group. “We made a “Big Rabbit” because, in accordance with our work, the animal becomes the witness of the change of nature and her balance.”